101 Strangest Foods Around the World

November 10, 2014

Ever wonder what do people in other countries eat? What could be totally weird for us to eat could be a luxurious delicacy for others — and the other way around. Here are 101 of the strangest foods around the world and maybe after reading this list, you can agree that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

1. Stargazy Pie (Pie with fish looking up) – England

A traditional pie from Mousehole (pronounced Mouzul) in Cornwall in honor of a fisherman who had fished alone during a stormy weather.

2. Drunken Shrimp – China

Photo via: Tomostyle

Photo via: Tomostyle

No cooking required, just fresh-water shrimps stunned in “baijiu” (strong liquor).

3. Bushmeat – Africa

Photo by: rusdamus via Panoramio

Photo by: rusdamus via Panoramio

Bushmeat, also known as wild meat or game meat, is meat from non-domesticated animals hunted for food in tropical forests. Infected bushmeat was believed to be the cause of the 2014 Ebola breakout in West Africa.

4. Airag – Mongolia

Photo via: GB Times

Photo via: GB Times

Airag is a kind of fermented mare’s milk known to have significant health benefits. It contains alcohol.

5. Monkey Brains – China, Africa, and South Asia

Photo via: Rates To Go

Photo via: Rates To Go

Monkey brains were said to taste mushy and metallic. You might want to get drunk first before trying out a bite for the first time.

6. Wasp Crackers – Japan

Photo Source :Hannah

Photo Source :Hannah

These crackers can be bought in the Japanese town of Omachi just 100 miles outside of Tokyo.

7. Ant Eggs soup – Laos

Photo Source : Littlebird1803

Photo Source : Littlebird1803

The eggs from soldier ants are separated in a bucket of water and later cooked with fish or beef with vegetables. The eggs have a soggy puffed rice texture.

8. Lutefisk – Norway

Photo Source : blooming radishes

Photo Source : blooming radishes

A traditional dish of some Nordic countries, the Lutefisk is an aged stockfish or dried whitefish treated with lye.

9. Stinkheads – Alaska, United States

Photo Source :Travel Channel

Photo Source :Travel Channel

Maybe this dish has deserved its name “Stinkheads” for these are King salmon heads buried in the ground in fermentation pits, put into plastic or wooden barrels and left for a few weeks or more before they are ready to eat.

10. Kangaroo meat – Australia

Photo Source : David Sun

Photo Source : David Sun

Kangaroo meat is thought to taste like a cross between venison and buffalo meat.

11. Akutaq (Eskimo Ice Cream) – Alaska

Photo Source :  Meredith

Photo Source : Meredith

Eskimo ice cream can sound sweet and creamy but it isn’t. It is made up of reindeer fat, seal oil, freshly fallen snow, berries and ground fish.

12. Haggis – Scotland

img_20141016165733_33cbb52a

Haggis is sheep’s stomach stuffed with sheep’s liver, lungs and heart, onions, oatmeal, and other spices. This is simmered for three hours.

13. Beondegi – Korea

Photo Source :  Alpha </a

Photo Source : Alpha

Beondegi are steamed or boiled silkworm pupae seasoned and eaten as a snack. It is said to taste like a mixture of raw chestnuts, cooked soy beans and mushrooms or a wet bark from a tree.

14. Turtle soup – China, Singapore and United States

Photo Source : Ernesto Andrade </a

Photo Source : Ernesto Andrade

Savory and gamey, turtle soup is known to be a tasty treat and a traditional Chinese dish especially eaten after pregnancy. Veal is used when making mock turtle soup.

15. Balut – Philippines

Photo Source :Nawty </a

Photo Source :Nawty

Balut is a developing duck embryo, boiled alive and eaten whole from its shell. It tastes like a regular boiled egg with duck broth and an extra crunch inside from the half-formed duckling’s bones.

16. Casu Marzu – Italy

Photo Source :Weird World Wonders </a

Photo Source :Weird World Wonders

Casu Marzu is sheep milk cheese… with thousands of wriggling maggots. The live maggots indicate that this cheese is good to eat.

17. Deep-fried Tarantula – Cambodia

Photo Source : Paul Arps </a

Photo Source : Paul Arps

These hairy creatures can be at least worth the try for they are thought to taste like spareribs, with expected spider eggs and excrement inside.

18. Baby mice wine – China and Korea

Photo Source : Always Foodie  </a

Photo Source : Always Foodie

The baby mice wine is said to be packed with health benefits, but it might be only good for those who like the taste of raw gasoline.

19. Cherry Blossom Meat – Japan

Photo Source :Gaston Lopez</a

Photo Source :Gaston Lopez

The cherry blossom meat is sold during the cherry blossom season, but it isn’t the pink flower that is served but rather the pink flesh of raw horse meat. In other words, you’ll get a dish of horse sashimi.

20. Grasshoppers– Thailand and Mexico

Photo Source :The Daily Meal</a

Photo Source :The Daily Meal

Depends on how they are marinated and fried, grasshoppers can taste like crispy chicken, old raisins, or just a crunchy insect flavored with oil.

21. Jumiles – Mexico

Photo Source :XL Semanal</a

Photo Source :XL Semanal

Spicy, intense and tastes like picante, jumiles or stink bugs are often enjoyed ground and mixed with salsa.

22. Shirako – Japan

Photo Source :joone</a

Photo Source :joone

If you can have caviar or female fish eggs, then you can try out a male fish’s sperm sacs a.k.a. Shirako.

23. Blodplättar – Sweden and Finland

Photo Source :Emily Eveland</a

Photo Source :Emily Eveland

Similar to black pudding, Blodplättar is a thinner and crispier version made by whipping pork blood with milk, flour and seasoning, cooked in a frying pan like pancakes.

24. Escargots à la bourguignonne – France

Photo Source :Galleryhip</a

Photo Source :Galleryhip

Escargots could be already the most popular among the rest included in this list but these cooked land snails deserve to be mentioned.

25. Bird’s nest soup – Southeast Asia

Photo Source :  SRM Martins</a

Photo Source : SRM Martins

Not really made out of an actual bird’s nest, the so-called “nest” is in fact bird’s dried and hardened saliva. It is believed to have medicinal properties.

26. Sannakji – Korea

Photo Source :  Flippersy</a

Photo Source : Flippersy

Sannakji is simply freshly killed octopus chopped to small wriggly bits. You dip them in sauce, eat, let those bits move for a moment and done!

27. Fruit bat soup – Guam, Micronesia and Africa

Photo Source :  Chris Goulet</a

Photo Source : Chris Goulet

Fruit bats are boiled with ginger and onion, served and eaten just like any other soup. Africa’s version is blamed to be one of the causes of Ebola in Guinea.

28. Damamian (Rotten pork) – Taiwan

Photo Source :Tanya Chen </a

Photo Source :Tanya Chen

It’s a rare dish by Taiwanaese aborigines made by raw pork, rice and salt fermented in a jar or pot for 30 days.

29. Century Egg – China

Photo Source : Robin </a

Photo Source : Robin

It doesn’t really take a century or a millennium to preserve this egg. These eggs are preserved in an saline solution until its ph is raised to a safe level giving it a dark color.

30. Cockscombs – Italy and France

Photo Source : Peta </a

Photo Source : Peta

These red fleshy parts on rooster’s heads are enjoyed as garnish or additional ingredients for sauces.

31. Soup Number Five – Philippines

Photo Source : 8dc9 </a

Photo Source : 8dc9

Make sure you know what soup you’re ordering because if it’s number 5, it surely is a tasty broth of bull’s penis and testicles.

32. Dragon in the Flame of Desire – China

Photo Source : Brian Barbieri </a

Photo Source : Brian Barbieri

After trying a bull’s penis why not fly to China and try a yak’s penis. It is known to be good for the skin.

33. Zaza-mushi – Japan

Photo Source : Lafujimama </a

Photo Source : Lafujimama

Available in jars and cans sold in retail shops, zaza-mushi or stonefly larvae are often cooked with sugar and soy sauce.

34. Dragonfly – Indonesia and China

Photo Source : Immortallife </a

Photo Source : Immortallife

Dragonflies are boiled or fried and they simply taste like soft-shell crabs.

35. Locust – Israel

Photo Source :Maria Godoy </a

Photo Source :Maria Godoy

A swarm of locusts started to feast on the crops of southern Israel and guess what, they took the blessing and these only kosher insects are now a delicacy.

36. Crocodile meat – Australia, Southeast Asia and Africa

Photo Source :hubag bohol </a

Photo Source :hubag bohol

Crocodile meat contains high protein and low fat. The taste might differ depending on how you cook it like grilling and frying.

37. Tuna eyeball – Japan

Photo Source : Tami Lane </a

Photo Source : Tami Lane

These eyeballs can be easily bought from the local supermarkets in Japan but its quite an acquired taste for some. Just boil and season, and you can start eating the eyeball’s fish fat and muscles that tastes like hard-boiled eggs or squid.

38. Tong Zi Dan (Virgin boy eggs) – Dongyang, China

Photo Source :Kaushik  </a

Photo Source :Kaushik

These eggs are boiled in the urine of boys, preferably under the age of 10. Yep.

39. Rocky mountain oysters – United Sates

Photo Source : Wally Gobetz</a

Photo Source : Wally Gobetz

These oysters are peeled, coated in flour and deep-fried. Oh wait, they’re not real oysters — they’re the testicles of bull calves.

40. Dog Meat – Korea, China and Vietnam

Photo Source : Dan Kish </a

Photo Source : Dan Kish

Eating dog meat is controversial and this being included on the list might even drive others mad. Dog meat when eaten without the thought of eating something that came from a dog (the pet) can give you an impression of eating something comparable to a cross of beef and mutton.

41. Sago Delight – Southeast Asia

Photo Source : Daniel Crudge </a

Photo Source : Daniel Crudge

Sago delight or fried sago worms are surprisingly tasty like sweet shrimps.

42. Cobra Heart – Vietnam

Photo Source :mzawel  </a

Photo Source :mzawel

Dunk in a cobra heart in a glass of cobra blood and venom mixed with rice vodka. Drink it up and never leave a drop.

43. Mopane Worms – Southern Africa

Photo Source :Thuli  </a

Photo Source :Thuli

Mopane worms can be eaten dry like potato chips or cooked and drenched in sauce. These worms contain three times the amount of protein as beef.

44. Jellied Moose Nose

Photo Source :Ashton Rigg </a

Photo Source :Ashton Rigg

Boil the moose nose with onion, garlic, spices and vinegar. Discard the bones and cartilages. Slice and you’ll get layers of white and red meat ready to be served.

45. Kiviak – Greenland

Photo Source :Sohail </a

Photo Source :Sohail

Kiviak is a traditional Inuit food made by stuffing Auks (birds) in a hollowed-out body cavity of a seal, sealed with seal grease and covered with large rock pile for 3-18 months.

46. Huitlacoche (Corn smut) – Mexico

Photo Source :Golf Wine & Dine</a

Photo Source :Golf Wine & Dine

Huitlacoche is a fungus which grows naturally on ears of corn usually used in crepes, quesadillas, or tacos. It also known as corn truffle.

47. Puffin Heart – Iceland

Photo Source : Rosalina Lionetti</a

Photo Source : Rosalina Lionetti

A puffin is skinned and its heart is pulled out and eaten raw. The taste is like a fishier version of chicken or duck.

48. Hákarl – Iceland

Photo Source : Greg </a

Photo Source : Greg

Known as the “Shark from hell”, Hakarl is shark meat dried in the wind until the skin seals the meat inside which then will undergo fermentation. The dry skin can be removed after three months and the meat is all ready to be served.

49. Smalahove (Sheep’s head) – Norway

With its brain removed, the sheep’s head is soaked in water and salted for preservation. It is then smoked and boiled or steamed to loosen the meat from the cheek bone. The sheep’s head is served with potatoes, fat and mashed swede.

50. Termites – Kenya

Photo Source :Em Castle  </a

Photo Source :Em Castle

The termites eaten in Kenya aren’t the ones that you see munching on wooden cupboards.These local termites are either eaten live or fried.

51. Muktuk (Frozen whale skin and blubber) – Greenland

Muktuk is skin and blubber of the bowhead whale that is sliced, salted, and eaten raw. The taste could be similar to fresh coconut or fried eggs.

52. Raw blood soup – Vietnam

Photo Source :Jason Beeby</a

Photo Source :Jason Beeby

Known as tiet canh in Vietnam, the soup is entirely made of goose, duck and even pig blood that is put in the fridge and then served chilled with herbs and chopped peanuts.

53. Shiokara – Japan

Photo Source : rfung8</a

Photo Source : rfung8

Ika no Shiokara, as they call it in Japan, are fermented squid guts mixed with the squid’s gastric juices and seasoned with a bit of miso, salt, soy sauce, sake, red pepper, and yuzu peel.

54. Escamoles – Mexico

Photo Source :Barbara Hansen</a

Photo Source :Barbara Hansen

Escamoles are edible larvae and pupae of ants harvested from the roots of the Agave tequilana or Agave americana plants in Mexico. These are often pan-fried with butter and spices and can be found in tacos or omelettes. They have a poppy texture and slight nutty taste.

55. Yin-yang fish – Taiwan and China

Photo Source :Image Juicy</a

Photo Source :Image Juicy

Yin-yang fish is deep-fried fish that remains alive after cooking. This is now prohibited in Taiwan.

56. Water bugs – Thailand

Photo Source :Brigette</a

Photo Source :Brigette

Known as maeng da in Thailand, these bugs are mostly extracted and added to chili-based sauces. They can also be boiled and deep-fried.

57. Shark Fin Soup – China

Photo Source :Thomas Henry </a

Photo Source :Thomas Henry

Shark fin soup is a luxurious dish often served at special occasions like weddings and banquets. Even though it’s a traditional dish, the sales of shark fin has declined rapidly as young Chinese become environmentally conscious and the government’s anti-corruption campaign discourages showy banquets and conspicuous consumption.

58. Waxworms

Photo Source : Hannah Sayle </a

Photo Source : Hannah Sayle

Waxworms are usually sauteed or roasted. The taste is said to be a cross between a pine nut and an enoki mushroom.

59. Steak Tartare – France

Photo Source : France Magazine

It is a meat dish made from minced raw beef — yes, it should be raw. It is often served with onions, capers, seasonings and topped with a raw egg yolk.

60. Crickets – Mexico, Thailand, Cambodia

Photo Source :  Gaia Vince </a

Photo Source : Gaia Vince

Crickets are eaten fried, sauteed, boiled, and roasted. You can actually do a lot with crickets. There are even cricket burgers available in New York.

61. Starfish – China

Photo Source : Alya  </a

Photo Source : Alya

The starfish’s hard outer shell is broken and there you’ll find the meat inside which was thought to have a texture between toothpaste and ground beef.

62. Spam – United States

Photo Source :  MyLastBite </a

Photo Source : MyLastBite

The classic variety of Spam is made up of this number one ingredient: chopped pork shoulder meat.

63. Stink bugs – Africa

Photo Source :Poramin Taiyaraj  </a

Photo Source :Poramin Taiyaraj

Can be eaten live or cooked, stink bugs often give off an apple flavor to sauces. These bugs are also known to have analgesic and tranquilizing properties.

64. Palolo worms – Pacific Islands

Photo Source :TJ  </al

Photo Source :TJ

The worms are traditionally eaten alive, fried in butter or baked in breadfruit leaves in an umu (earth oven).

65. Scorpion – Thailand and China

Photo Source : Nathan Woolf

Photo Source : Nathan Woolf

It was said that frying scorpions can neutralize the venom and the tail is its nutritious part. Fried scorpions have a taste similar to greasy, buttery popcorn.

66. Whale Meat – Japan, United States, Canada, Greenland, Norway, Iceland

Photo Source :Stefan Powell

Photo Source :Stefan Powell

Each country has their own take in cooking whale meat. It can be boiled and served with potatoes, fermented, or eaten raw.

67. Walking Stick – Asia and Papua New Guinea

Photo Source :Manataka

Photo Source :Manataka

Walking sticks are actually insects and the taste is somewhat leafy.

68. Frog Legs – France, Southeast Asia and other

Photo Source : Robin

Photo Source : Robin

Often fried, frog legs taste mild and flaky. The taste can be compared to a cross between chicken breast, shrimp and crab.

69. Earthworms

Photo Source :  Stuart Showalter

Photo Source : Stuart Showalter

Earthworms are first prepared by placing them in flour or cornmeal to purge out all the dirt and replace their system with something more palatable. Then, these earthworms can be cooked by boiling them first before using in any recipe.

70. Tripe – All Over the World

Photo Source :ANDREW CROWLEY

Photo Source :ANDREW CROWLEY

Though it may not be strange anymore because almost the whole world eats it, tripe is in fact a type of edible offal found in stomachs from various farm animals.

71. Bear Paw – China

Photo Source :China Daily

Photo Source :China Daily

It is believed that consuming bear paws will acquire the strength and vigor of a bear. It can be stewed, steamed, or used in soups. The taste is similar to pork, smooth and soft but not as greasy.

72. Fugu – Japan

Photo Source :Maki

Photo Source :Maki

Fugu or blowfish is luxurious delicacy in Japan. Fugu is served often as sashimi but it can also be deep-fried, baked, or used in salads. Chefs need to go undergo training to receive a fugu-preparing license because this fish contain a poison that is 1,200 times deadlier than cyanide.

73. Snake wine – China and Vietnam

Photo Source : Quixotic54

Photo Source : Quixotic54

If you don’t want to risk having a beating cobra heart in your throat then maybe a shot of snake wine can be for you. The ethanol in the rice wine where the snake is soaked in kills the venom. Drinking a shot is believed to boost one’s virility.

74. Cockroach – China

Photo Source :Barbara Demick

Photo Source :Barbara Demick

Cockroaches (American cockroaches) in China are ground and stuffed in pills and advertised as a cure for stomach, heart, and liver ailments. But if you wanna eat it, these insects are fried twice and when eaten they could be similar to an overcooked french fry with a weird aftertaste.

75. Pillbugs (Woodlice)

pillbugs

Pills bugs are actually crustaceans that are prepared by putting them in a plastic bag for 24 hours to empty out their guts. After that, they can be cooked straight into the boiling water. It tastes like a tiny shrimp.

76. Mealworms

Photo Source : Joseph Stromberg

Photo Source : Joseph Stromberg

Mealworms contain about 25% protein and 12% fat. When toasted, they can taste like roasted nuts or seeds.

77. Midge Fly – East Africa

Photo Source : Annette.White

Photo Source : Annette.White

These flies (also called Blind Mosquitoes) are pressed into solid blocks to make a food called Kunga Cake.

78. Witchetty Grub – Australia

Photo Source : Recipegreat

Photo Source : Recipegreat

The grub can be eaten raw or cooked in hot pan until brown. The taste was said to be comparable to fried egg with a nutty flavor.

79. Salo – Ukraine

Photo Source : Bizarre Food

Photo Source : Bizarre Food

Salo is mainly pork fat that can be eaten in different ways: smoked, cooked, or raw. If eaten raw, it is first dipped in salt and finished with a shot of samagon or vodka.

80. Khash – Middle East, East Europe and Turkey

Photo Source : Limor

Photo Source : Limor

A delicacy often enjoyed as a festive winter meal, Khash is a dish made by boiling cow’s feet. It is eaten with a flatbread called lavash and shots of vodka.

81. Marmite or Vegemite – UK, New Zealand, Australia

Photo Source : Outback Cooking

Photo Source : Outback Cooking

Marmite and Vegemite are both yeast extracts that gives off a concentrated umami flavor. It can be mixed in sauces, flavoring meat, or just use as a savory spread.

82. Guinea pig – South America

Photo Source : Jason Castellani

Photo Source : Jason Castellani

Called cuyes in Spanish, Guinea pigs can be grilled and deep fried. It can be eaten from head to toe, and the taste is similar to an oily and tender combination of pork and rabbit.

83. Sompopos (Flying Ant) – Guatemala

Photo Source :  Biana

Photo Source : Biana

Flying ant queens are collected and roasted on a clay griddle with salt and lime juice. Sompopos taste like buttery pork rinds.

84. Southern Fried Rattlesnake – United States

Photo Source : Goodies First.

Photo Source : Goodies First.

Rattlesnakes, when properly prepared, can be a good substitute for beef, pork, and chicken. Its meat has a unique and light flavor.

85. Nsenene – Uganda

Photo Source : Allen Kalema"

Photo Source : Allen Kalema”

Nsenene (long-horned grasshoppers) is a delicacy in Uganda. They can be fried with their own fat and flavored with onions, boiled or sun-dried.

86. Centipede – China

Photo Source : R Mansur"

Photo Source : R Mansur”

Centipedes are fried to a crisp and skewered. It can taste like dried spaghetti noodles or nothing at all.

87. Surstromming – Sweden

Photo Source : Lola Åkerström

Photo Source : Lola Åkerström

Surstromming is fermented Baltic sea herring. It is often wrapped in buttered tunnbröd, a type of sweetened flat bread, with slices of almond potatoes and diced onion. It is popular for its pungent smell.

88. Cat Meat – East Asia

Photo Source : Tom Phillips

Photo Source : Tom Phillips

Particularly in China, cat meat can be turned into meatballs served with soup. Cat meat is also known to be eaten in some parts of Peru and Switzerland.

89. Hornworms

Photo Source :Westcoastroaches

Photo Source :Westcoastroaches

Hornworms are starved or fed with green peppers before they can be eaten. The hornworms’ flavor is like a combination of tomatoes, shrimp, and crab.

90. Scorpion Soup – China

Photo Source :Goloro

Photo Source :Goloro

Scorpion soup is known to be eaten to ease rheumatism. The scorpions have a woody taste and should be eaten whole.

91. Dung Beetle – India

Photo Source :Sa-Venues

Photo Source :Sa-Venues

Dung beetles live in fresh cow dung but when used for cooking, they are first cleaned by removing their abdomens. Then, they are dehydrated, seasoned, and cooked often with pork and vegetables.

92. Stinky Tofu – Taiwan

Photo Source : Kimberly Mims

Photo Source : Kimberly Mims

Stinky tofu is fermented tofu that can be deep-fried, stewed, steamed, or even eaten raw. The name already suggests that the smell is quite unforgettable.

93. Black Pudding (Blood Sausage) – Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe

Photo Source :Hongnhung106

Photo Source :Hongnhung106

Black pudding is a type of blood sausage generally made of pig’s blood mixed with steel-cut oatmeal used as thickener.

94. Cow Blood and Milk – Kenya and Tanzania

Photo Source :Chamimage

Photo Source :Chamimage

Raw cow’s blood and milk are mixed and used as a ritual drink during special occasions. The blood is obtained by cutting the cow’s jugular artery which allows blood-letting without killing the animal.

95. Cicada – US, Japan, Thailand, and Malaysia

Photo Source :Dave Royce

Photo Source :Dave Royce

Cicadas are usually tasteless but can be delicious when mixed with other flavors. They are usually deep-fried but can also be roasted and boiled together with spices.

96. Chicken’s Feet – East Asia, Caribbean, South America and South Africa

Photo Source :Mark T

Photo Source :Mark T

There are several ways to cook chicken’s feet which is often served as a beer snack or main dish. It can be marinated in soy sauce and black beans in China, breaded and fried in Mexico, used in soup in Jamaica, or skewered and grilled like barbecue in the Philippines.

97. Fly Pupae

Photo Source :Thai Bugs

Photo Source :Thai Bugs

Fly pupae can be parboiled and fried. They are crunchy and have a rich flavor similar to blood pudding.

98. Field rats – Northern China, Mexico

Photo Source :Paul Milligan

Photo Source :Paul Milligan

Field rats aren’t the ones you often see lurking in sewers. They live in the countryside, eating grains and seeds planted on farms. They can be boiled in soup, grilled, or mixed in a stew.

99. Tamilok (Wood Worm) – Philippines

Photo Source :The Poor Traveler

Photo Source :The Poor Traveler

Tamilok or wood worm isn’t actually a worm but a mollusk found inside rotting mangrove. It is slimy, fat and long but it tastes like oysters.

100. Mosquito Eggs – Mexico

Photo Source :AFP

Photo Source :AFP

Mosquito eggs are first dried then roasted. They can be wrapped in tortillas and served with a squeeze of lime or lemon.

101. Dried Lizards – China

Photo Source :Scott O'cconor

Photo Source :Scott O’cconor

Dried lizards aren’t eaten but used for additional taste in soup. It is known for its health benefits like stamina increase, weigh loss, and protection from fever and other ailments.